How Well Are You Crowd-Funding?

We’re all aware of the crowd-funding legislation that helps start-ups and small businesses find investors through social crowd funding sites like KickStarter, Indie Go Go, Peerbackers and RocketHub, to name a few.  This law completely streamlines the process making it much easier for founders and owners to gain access to capital from regular inspired folks without all the hefty paperwork.  But this is old news.  We know these sites are out there for our legal use and we know we should be using them if we’re serious about taking our projects and ventures to the next level.  But how many us really know how to launch a successful crowd-funding campaign?

This is probably the most exciting time to be an entrepreneur / small business owner because of the reach of social media.  But if you’re not tapping into it properly, you could be losing out on serious money to seriously actualize your dreams.  While many may be trying to perfect the science of crowd-funding, you really need to have a campaign strategy in mind.  It’s nothing to over-complicate, but you don’t want to neglect vital elements to can help you.  If you think about it, crowd funding is simply online fundraising.  And you gotta look at it as fundraising, with some pretty important differences to note.

As people, we are visual creatures.  We like action and motion.  Back in the day, when we would fund raise for an organization, club, school sport or whatever, we’d simply spread the word by mouth, maybe plaster up a few posters and signs.  These days, audio and video need to be your best friends.  People want to see what you’re doing, or trying to accomplish.  They want to see part of the journey, if not be a part of it vicariously through your documenting.  Record your progress, upload it and share it.  And don’t just do one video.  Do as many as you can so that you have a selection to share.

And because we are visual creatures, photos help just as much.  Videos, are awesome, and photos are enhancing.  If you’re petitioning crowd funding contributors to support your dream idea of starting a television for a certain a demographic, record it, obviously, but take photos of everyone you meet and interview.  Take a snapshot of every location you visit in an attempt to launch this dream of yours.  If you meet some pretty important people, from a pretty distinguished studio ask their permission to take their photo and upload it.  They say a picture says a thousand words, can it also help you raise $1,000?

Engage.  Yeah, people are going want to see what you’re doing, but they’re also going to want to hear from you too.  You don’t have to give a dissertation on the concept of your idea, but chime in here an there.  Talk about your experiences along the way.  Even share all the roadblocks you’ve encountered and your plans to get around them.  Make it human and relatable.

Link everything to your social media networks, whether they are ones you’ve set up for this particular project or they are your personal accounts.  The more people you can reach, the more likely your project/ venture can get funded.

But don’t just jump in with both feet.  Sometimes excitement can do that to us and we forget to take a few precautions.  Check out other people’s crowd funding pages.  What are they doing; what are they doing successfully?  Why is it that no one has funded this project yet?  What are they offering as rewards?  What can you offer?  Really give this some serious thought.  After all, if you’re using a crowd funding site to launch your passion and/ or dreams, you may only get one shot to do it right.

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